Passage: 2 Timothy 2:1-7
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Forming Love In A Culture Of Fear
Entrusted To The Faithful
Will it take 24,657 years to reach the world for Christ or 21 years? If a dramatic evangelistic campaign saw a thousand people come to Christ every day, then it would take 24,657 years for that campaign to reach every person on earth. However, multiplication is greater than addition. If one person could lead three people to Christ in a year and help those three lead three more people to Christ the following year and this process continued, then every person on earth would be reached in 21 years. If we want to see the gospel of Jesus Christ spread across the globe, we must be serious about multiplication, like Paul at the end of his life. In 2 Timothy 2:1–7, he shares the power, the process, and the pain of multiplication.
First we see the power for multiplication (2 Tim 2:1). After speaking about the heart-breaking departures of Phygelus and Hermogenes (1:15), Paul begins tenderly, “You then, my child.” He doesn’t want Timothy to have the same fate as them. Yet the key is not Timothy’s effort, accountability system or theological training; the key is simply, “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2:1). The grace is available, but it must be accessed time and time and time again. The power for multiplication is not found in ourselves; it is found in the ever-present grace that is ours in Jesus Christ.
Also we see the process of multiplication (2 Tim 2:2). Paul entrusts the gospel to Timothy, who entrusts it to faithful men who are entrusted to teach it to other. These four generations of multiplication show the tremendous power of personal relationship. We cannot simply absorb the truths of the gospel for ourselves; these rich and glorious truths are to be entrusted to others who will faithfully share it with others. The key is multiplication.
Finally we see the pain of multiplication (2 Tim 2:3–7). Paul talks of sharing in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. The spiritual passing on of our inheritance will inevitably be accompanied by suffering. More specifically it will demand the focus of a soldier (2:4), the perseverance of an athlete (2:5), and the patience of a farmer (2:6). The work of multiplication is not a work for those who desire quick and easy results. However the pain of multiplication is worth it; as a result, the soldier pleases his officer, the athletes wins a crown, and the farmer sees a harvest. So Paul calls Timothy to “think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (2:7). He must consider the pain but also the product of that multiplication.
So what? Our goal should not be flashy, immediate, and impressive results; the focus in multiplication— to ensure that the deposit of faith is firmly planted in a few so that they can reliably share it with others. And this is a goal that any of us can pursue. May we take the riches of the gospel and work to entrust it to others.